You hear this claim from the trinitarian christian.
Actually I’ll stop right here and say that the two words “trinitarian” and “christian” are two different words. “christian” refers to a member of the whole group of people who accept Jesus as the promised “messiah” and follow his teachings based on that notion. There are many types of christians who hold different beliefs about God and the Bible. One type of christian that appears to make up the majority of christians called “trinitarians.” They are called trinitarian because they accept a certain doctrine about God called “the Trinity.” Not all christians accept the trinity, but many christians who accept the trinity are arrogant enough to say that if you don’t accept the trinity doctrine then you are not really a christian. But that’s essentially an ignorant point of view. The simple meaning of christian, without all the theological baggage certain types of trinitarians like to attach to the word, is a follower of a certain “christ” called Jesus. The word “christ” doesn’t mean “God in the flesh.” Even the name Jesus doesn’t automatically imply “God in the flesh”.
I say all this just to warn the reader to beware of trinitarians that try to equate the word “christian” with “believer in the trinity doctrine”. Simply put, “christian” does not mean “trinitarian”.
OK, back to my point. “We only believe in one God.” That’s what trinitarians like to tell other people. Maybe the trinitarian who says this believes it themselves. They are adamant about this point for some reason, maybe because they don’t want to cut themselves off from the teachings of the Hebrew Bible that only overtly speaks of a singular Deity and never uses any other number than “one” to describe the God of Israel. Who knows?
But at this point, we need to think about what the trinitarian is actually saying and the proofs he gives for his beliefs. I mean, let’s take the words of the trinitarian to describe what the trinity is. You can go to the Wikipedia article on the Athanasian Creed to see what the majority of christians today essentially believe. But to summarize, again, let’s use the words of trinitarians, like CARM, who say in their articles about the trinity,
God is a trinity of persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father is not the same person as the Son; the Son is not the same person as the Holy Spirit; and the Holy Spirit is not the same person as Father. They are not three gods and not three beings. They are three distinct persons; yet, they are all the one God. Each has a will, can speak, can love, etc., and these are demonstrations of personhood. They are in absolute perfect harmony consisting of one substance. They are coeternal, coequal, and copowerful. (The Trinity – http://www.carm.org/trinity)
The word, “trinity,” simply means “a unity of three.” Trinitarians will say that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.
When the words let you down
Let’s just take those two important segments of what trinitarians say, put them together and reach the natural conclusion.
So we have the fact that the basic definition of trinity is “a unity of three”.
Just stop there!
When we say “a unity of three,” we must necessarily mean that there are three different, distinct entities. Each of those things can not be the same thing. So we have a group, a union, a uniting into a group, of three different entities. So no matter how you try to flip and fumble with definitions of words, when you are dealing with a trinity, you are dealing with a group. That’s the simple definition of the words.
Now, the next bit! The three members of this group of three are the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. And trinitarians make it very plain that these three are identified in a certain way. They are called God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. And they are always very carefully to say the Father is NOT the Son, the Son is NOT the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is NOT the Father. This is simply emphasizing what I’ve said before: we have a group.
And to be more accurate, we have a group of three beings, each called God. And each God is not the other God. God the Father is not God the Son who is not God the Holy Spirit.
So we have three beings, each called God. Do you know what that means? Based on simple language, based on how we normally use words, we have three Gods.
“But we only worship one God,” says the trinitarian sternly. “Didn’t you see in our creed that we worship one God?”
Of course I saw it. I saw that the creed describes three “Gods” and then states that trinitarians believe in “one God”. That’s what the creed essentially does. Either it is saying three is one at the
same time in the same way, which is neither difficult or mysterious, but simply a contradiction and doesn’t exist. Or it is saying that trinitarians worship one group of Gods, which means that trinitarians worship more than one God.
As long as trinitarians want to talk to us in language we understand, then that same language will only show the obvious: they are not monotheists, worshippers of a singular God. They are polytheists, worshippers of more than one God!
When the proofs let you down
“BUT WE ONLY WORSHIP ONE GOD!” the trinitarian shouts.
OK, let’s pretend that you do. What biblical proofs do you have that this trinity exists?
One piece of evidence put forward is that the Hebrew word for God is “elohim” which is meant to be plural. Now this claim comes from the trinitarian so I’m only leveling my next argument at the trinitarian, not at the Jews whose Hebrew the trinitarian attempts to hijack. Jews, with their natural knowledge of Hebrew, will say that the word elohim when used in certain cases is singular, not plural. But the trinitarian wants to emphasize the plurality. It won’t help!
As soon as the trinitarian even breathes the words “plural” “elohim” and “God,” their words will catch up with them. Why? What does plural mean? It means “more than one.” So if cars is the plural of the word “car”, it means that there is more than car, and “houses” means more than one house, then what does the trinitarian understanding of “elohim” mean? Well the singular word is “eloah” (not “el” as some state) and means, in this context, God. Well, lets start again, “cars” means more than one car, and “houses” means more than one house, so “elohim” means more than one “eloah”, or, in our language, means more than one God.
So the trinitarian piece of evidence shows us what has been seen before in this essay: they worship more than one God. So they are polytheists, worshipping more than one God!
Before the trinitarian tries to dictate to us again how many gods he worships, let’s look at his other pieces of evidence. What about those places where God seems to send God, or God seems to do something by God (Zechariah 2) or God sends hailstones from God in heaven (Genesis 19)?
Question to ask: according to both Judaism and Christianity, loosely speaking, is God omnipresent, everywhere? Yes, they both say He is. So if God does something by God, or God, apparently on earth, sends something from God in heaven, why would you think this refers to two Gods? Oh, and then you should stop again! What was my question? “Why would you think this refers to two Gods?” You know what the trinitarian has done again, don’t you? By using these verses to prove that God is a trinity (a group of three) they step into polytheism-land again. A person who understands the omnipresence of God and the Hebrew rules about emphasis by stating names twice (e.g. see Solomon in 1 Kings 8:1) wouldn’t even begin to go where the trinitarians go. They wouldn’t add pagan notions into the bible and make God into a limited being by saying that if he manifests himself in one location he can’t manifest himself at another location and it not be exactly the same entity, i.e. God.
I’m not going to go into all the proofs here, but understand that one of the mistakes trinitarians routinely make is that they continually have to imply a plurality, a more-than-one aspect to God, and whenever they try to use the Bible to do that, they end up painting themselves again and again in the colour of polytheism.
When you are just let down
“But …. but we only worship one God!” the trinitarian gasps. “The Bible says there is only one God so we worship one God, but he’s a trinity!”
Another mistake that trinitarians make is stating that because the Bible says God is one, therefore their brand of christianity is monotheistic, worshipping only a singular God. A poor example of
It’s what is called a non sequitir. That means that one thing does not necessarily follow the other. Now the Bible is definitely monotheistic, not only because of its clear word, but because of the witness of its true custodians. Those custodians are not and have never been christians! Let’s be really blunt! Neither has it been those relative few Jews that accepted christianity. It wasn’t Jesus or his apostles, since they all died of with their Jewish followers leaving a predominantly Gentile church. The Jews that became believers in Jesus as Messiah after that did not do so from some uninterrupted tradition from Jesus and his disciples, but rather from the teachings of the Gentile church.
So according to the scriptures, who are the custodians and the witnesses of the Jewish Bible? The covenant nation of Israel. Which covenant do I speak of? The Torah covenant of Moses. So I’m not just speaking about any genetic Jews, since a Jew genetically descended from Jews can be a rabid atheist, Bhuddist, Hindu, Muslim, any religion under the sun. But the Jew who embraces the foundational revelation of Sinai is part of the covenant nation of Israel. And that nation is really monotheistic and rejected both Jesus and the trinity.
So the trinitarian will rightly state that the Bible states that there is only one God. But it doesn’t therefore follow that the patchwork of scriptures and logic used by their church fathers to create their trinity is that same biblical one God. What they are following IS simply the logical patchwork of the church fathers. That’s probably the best thing that can be said for the construct that they hold so dearly to.
So do trinitarians worship one God? At the very least, they pay lip service to the notion. But if you step in their church and listen to the songs they sing, the sermons they preach, the testimonies they give, and include in that what the simple definition of “trinity” is and how they describe it and how they prove it, you’ll realise that they are not as close to monotheism as they want to be. It’s easy to worry that you are in a pagan temple with people singing worship to three separate entities.
The worst thing is that they did it all to themselves. They carved their logical construct, called it “God”, got their proof texts, and pasted it as a central doctrine of their church, saying “one” while holding up three fingers, and creating such a picture of such unholy contradiction and staking their life and eternity on it.
The worst thing is that they did it to themselves!
And they’ll still go down screaming:
“BUT WE WORSHIP ONE GOD!”